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Last update: May 2021

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EMERG’IN, a Research infrastructure for the control of animal and zoonotic emerging infectious diseases through in vivo investigation.

• Scientific challenges

As part of the application of the One Health concept, it is essential to design the best possible coordination to deal, in an integrated way, with the challenges posed by zoonotic infectious diseases. The bio-medical sector, structured within the Aviesan Alliance, must be able to rely on a national coordination instrument for infectious disease research infrastructures to solve some of the challenges at ecological interfaces Man-animal-environment.

• Methodological challenges

In our society, the advance in digital technologies and biotechnology is growing fast and allows considering the health and the future of agriculture from a new angle. Precision livestock farming make it possible to obtain and store during the experiments a multitude of new parameters (environmental, related to the metabolism or the physiology of the animal) allowing a better understanding of the infectious processes. Noninvasive imaging methods have also made a lot of progress. Finally, the new developments in cell / tissue culture make it possible to envisage an alternative or a limitation of animal experimentation in accordance with ethics and regulations.
All these advances must benefit infectious disease research infrastructures. To this end, collaborations will be undertaken with the support of the Institut Carnot France Future Livestock (FFE), with Research Units INRAE, ANSES, CIRAD and partnerships with industrial groups of all sizes (Start-up, SME, large groups of the veterinary industry ...).

• Social and economic challenges

The increase in emerging infectious diseases observed from several decades is mostly of animal origin, and continues to increase. Among the causes linked to the Eco-Health dynamic, we can mention increased trade, the mobility of citizens and animals, global warming favorable to the dissemination of vectors.

There are numerous examples, in recent years, of diseases with inter-animal transmission (foot-and-mouth disease, african swine fever, bluetongue, Schmallenberg disease) to zoonoses (avian influenza, hemorrhagic fevers, anthrax, West Nile fever, salmonellosis, colibacillosis (STEC), campylobacteriosis, listeriosis, toxoplasmosis ...).

For a full report on zoonoses, zoonotic agents and foodborne outbreaks cf. EFSA's scientific report published in December 2018:

The economic costs for breeders and for human health actors are high and it is essential to prepare contingency plans to limit the impact of future emerging diseases or to cope with re-emergencies.